Waylon Thibodeaux, Papa Thibodeaux (Rockin’ River)

Everyone needs to recharge batteries now and then as fiddler/entertainer Waylon Thibodeaux discovered a few years back. A series of life changes had transformed the Bourbon Street warrior into a painting contractor exiled in Georgia on the brink of music biz retirement. It wasn’t until seeing Sissy Spacek croon “There He Goes” on Coal Miner’s Daughter that Thibodeaux’s creative juices began to flow again. The Spacek-sung tune was recast as “There She Goes,” a lolloping country/swamp popper and soon the rest fell into place. While caffeinated, English-sung stompers and driving Cajun traditionals are still part of Thibodeaux’s sonic signature, the strength of his latest lies in the diversity of material with culturally anthemic originals, “We Are Cajuns,” and eclectic covers, like the Spanish language ballad, “Un Momento Alla.” Thibodeaux does a marvelous job with Vin Bruce’s dreamy “Teala’s Waltz” while pals Jumpin’ Johnny Sansone (harmonica) and Tab Benoit (guitar) help pump out the jam on “Be For Sure.” Factor in Thibodeaux’s melodious voice and the Houma homeboy has really outdone himself this time.